Pirozzi family

I hadn’t been a portrait creator very long before I realized the impact of seeing what you most cherish in life, looking back at your from the spaces where you make your memoires.  We mark the best times in life, oftentimes in portrait, to help carry us through the worst times that inevitably lay ahead.  They are an invaluable bridge from generation to generation for so many. It was one of these cherished wall portraits that caused my paths to cross with Phyllis.  Phyllis is a retired professional photographer and a devoted grandmother.  She was in one of my client’s homes and saw a mother daughter portrait that I had created that stopped her in her tracks.

She wanted this for her daughter Heidi and granddaughter Mabry.  She contacted me to request a gift certificate for her daughter.  She envisioned what I could create for her two precious girls and was so excited.  For me it was a little glimpse into my future.  Phyllis had retired because arthritis and shaking in her hands didn’t make it possible for her to create portraits any longer.  She had been the photographer for many over many years, but most importantly for her own family.  That chapter of her life had closed and she wanted something special for her daughter and granddaughter.  While she doesn’t photograph professionally anymore, she still regularly pulls off the side of the road when she sees something that compels her artist mind and cajoles Mabry into ‘taking a few pictures’ with her iphone.

I decided after talking with Phyllis that it was time for me to start working with a camera stand.  It took some getting used to but I figured it may help lengthen the amount of time I can create if I got some of that excessive weight out of my hands for at least part of my sessions.  After working through the adjustment phase, now I love my camera stand and have one in both upper and lower studio shoot spaces.  Now it does mean I’m doing a lot of squats, which is a good thing!

Heidi was excited as she filled me in at her pre-consult planning meeting about her precious little family.  Their only child, Mabry, is the absolute light of her and her husband, Rick’s life.  She was a long awaited and much anticipated blessing to their family that completed them.  She was eager to have coverage focus on Mabry at this fleeting stage of life as she’s preparing to enter highschool.

Mabry’s a eyes wide open to all that intrigues her in life.  She’s eager to jump into adventure be it theatrically on stage or in whipping around Sportsman’s Hall roller skating with the breeze in her hair.   She loves the stage and brings a star presence be it a major or a minor role she’s cast in.  She absolutely lit up when I asked her if she wanted to create her roller skating portraits with the colored lights and haze in our lower level studio.  She’s a daredevil on the skating rink and was quick to demo all her cool moves for me!

Dad joined part the way through the session and brought his two favorite girls flowers.  He was in awe of how beautiful they looked and could tell they were having the time of their life.   Rick’s heart beats a whole lot faster and a shy smile spreads widely across his face when he talks about his girls.  In fact, after I shared the movie we put together from their portrait time Rick said, “I feel like the first day Mabry was born and the day we got married right now.”  Be still my heart to see that tender heart in a father/husband for his girls!

Rick and Heidi have been country line dancing for years, tearing it up at Cancun Cantina making some of their sweetest memories together.  So I asked them to dance in our wild flower meadow.  Not quite the hardwood smooth surface at the Cantina, but they made it work!  Then I asked Mabry and dad to dance together.  The portrait below leaves just the right amount of mystery and highlights Rick’s love for his girl.  He told me, “when they handed her to me when she was born, I started two stepping with her right there.”  And clearly he hasn’t stopped and has no plans to.  There’s a video of Rick two stepping with newborn Mabry that is precious to all of them.  I’m imagining all those clips of Mabry and Rick dancing together playing in a highlight reel on her wedding day…and not a dry eye in the house.

Heidi and Rick vest deeply in their parenting and don’t want to miss a thing along the way on a journey they know is going way to fast.  Heidi didn’t have social media until very recently because she saw too many people missing their children’s lives buried in their phones.  It made a mark on her and she waited too long to have the chance to fulfill her life long dream of having a daughter to miss the magic in the everyday moments.

Pirozzi family you were an absolute delight!  May the sun rise and set on a lifetime of memories that will bring smiles across all your faces!  May you be there to cheer each other on through every step of your journey and may it be filled with abundant love and laughter as you two step through this life hand in hand together!

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